Philadelphia City Council passes resolution to help combat anti-Asian hate

Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution Thursday that it hopes will help combat anti-Asian hate.

Video Transcript

- City council passed a resolution today that it hopes will help combat anti-Asian hate. Our Nydia Han is here now. She's been following this closely, and joins us with the details. Nydia?

NYDIA HAN: Yeah, Rick, this is all about the classroom. One of the best weapons in the fight against hate is education. So this resolution is calling for lessons on Asian-American history, and many say this is long overdue.

KERA MCCARTHY: The way that we're taught history is very one sided.

NYDIA HAN: Kera McCarthy is a junior in the Philadelphia school district.

KERA MCCARTHY: We never touch on subjects like Asian-American history, like the Chinese Exclusion Act.

NYDIA HAN: Known as the first significant US law restricting immigration, and one of many anti-Asian policies.

KERA MCCARTHY: So I think it's really important that that gets added into the curriculum.

NYDIA HAN: Council member at large David Oh agrees.

DAVID OH: Especially during this surging Asian hate that we have in this country, a lot of it, I think, comes from just ignorance, misinformation, where Asian-Americans have been blamed for many things that they are not responsible for. And it has kind of vilified Asian-Americans.

NYDIA HAN: So council member Oh introduced a resolution, calling on the school district of Philadelphia to help combat anti-Asian hate by providing Asian-American history lessons. The resolution passed unanimously this morning. Oh wants students to learn about Asian-American struggles and contributions.

DAVID OH: Going to the Supreme Court to establish the foundation of civil rights and constitutional rights in this country. It was Asian-American troops, fighting in World War II.

NYDIA HAN: The resolution calls for lessons during Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, but Kera hopes it will eventually become a more significant part of the curriculum.

KERA MCCARTHY: African-American history became a mandatory class to graduate high school in Philadelphia, and I think that's definitely a step in the right direction, in diversifying the history that we learn in high school, but I would love to see Asian-American history be an individual course in the high school curriculum.

NYDIA HAN: Both Kera and councilmember Oh also say the history of all groups in America must be taught as a way to build understanding and find common ground in our past experiences, as well as our hopes for the future. And while this resolution is not a binding requirement, again, the hope is this nudge proves to be a significant first step, guys.

- Yeah, absolutely.

- Definitely a step in the right direction. Thank you, Nydia.

- Thanks, Nydia.